From the American Gem Society . . .

Pearls

For centuries, pearls have been a symbol of beauty and purity. Today, they are regarded as both classic and contemporary, coming in many more fashionable styles than your grandmother’s traditional strand of pearls. Learning about types of pearls is important when adding items to your jewelry collection. 

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Gemstones

There are so many options when buying jewelry—so many materials, metals, styles and gems to choose from. You can shop better by taking the time to learn how to buy jewelry. It can seem like a lot, but with a little help from this jewelry-buying guide, you’ll be shopping like a professional in no time. And if you are still stumped buying jewelry, feel free to ask an AGS-certified gemologist for help. They may know a lot about metals and gems, but they also know tons about styles and trends. 

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Birthstones

Traditionally, a birthstone is associated with each month of the year. For example, the birthstone for January is a garnet, while lucky babies born in April get a diamond as their birthstone. 

The origin of birthstones is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The current list dates back to 1912 with only one addition since then – the tanzanite was added to December.

There are numerous legends and myths about birthstone healing powers and their therapeutic influence. According to these legends, wearing a gemstone during its assigned month heightened its healing powers. For the full effect, individuals needed to own all twelve and alternate them monthly. 

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The 4 C’s

Diamond shopping is about Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. Not to mention the Fifth C: Confidence. When you shop smart with an American Gem Society jeweler, you will feel confident in your decision. You know that the jeweler is qualified to describe the characteristics of your diamond, so you can make the informed choice that is right for you. 

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Precious Metals

Gold, silver, and platinum are a few of the metals most commonly used in jewelry. The word gold, used by itself, means all gold or it can refer to “pure” gold, meaning 24 karat (24K) gold. Because 24K gold is soft, it’s usually mixed with other metal jewelry called alloys to increase its hardness and durability. If a piece of jewelry is not 24 karat gold, the karat quality should accompany any claim that the item is gold. The words silver or sterling silver describe a product that contains 92.5% silver. Silver products sometimes may be marked 925 which means that 925 parts per thousand are pure silver. Certain precious metals, platinum for instance, are more durable and fit an active lifestyle. 

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